Story: Tapa whenua – naming places

Farewelling the dead

Traditionally, Hawaiki was seen as both the source of life and the destination of the dead. It was a paradise to which the spirits returned. In this clip, Miki Apiti shows respect for departed ancestors by farewelling them as they return, in spirit, to Hawaiki:

E rau rangatira mā, tēnā koutou katoa. Ki a rātou mā kua whetūrangitia hoki atu ki Hawaiki nui, Hawaiki roa, Hawaiki pāmamao. Arā, ko tātou tēnei te kanohi ora, kia ora rā.

To the chiefly ones, greetings. To those who have passed on, return to great Hawaiki, long Hawaiki, distant Hawaiki. And to the living, greetings.

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How to cite this page:

Rāwiri Taonui, 'Tapa whenua – naming places - Names from Polynesian mythology', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 June 2024)

Story by Rāwiri Taonui, published 24 Nov 2008